Normally, I have the stance that fans of Kentucky should cheer for the other SEC schools (including UT) during non-conference games. When an SEC team does well, that helps Kentucky by proxy. You can’t tell me that we constantly flaunt the SEC as the greatest football conference in the land, yet Kentucky has not really contributed to that dominance. Florida, LSU, and Alabama are the ones who have actually succeeded. So, you would think that it would be an obvious choice on who to root for in the national championship tonight. Auburn, right?
In this case, the answer would be hell no. I will be rooting for Oregon as hard as I do for Kentucky. I will be a ceremonial resident of Eugene for one day. And I will very likely use the word “quack” far too often. But, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be on my side on this game. There are 2 major issues at play here:
1) Cam Newton is a cheater. You can twist it any way you want, but Newton is a cheater. He shouldn’t be playing, and we all know it. If Auburn had lost that early season game against Clemson, or even the game against Kentucky, we all know that Newton would have been banned from playing the rest of the season. Much like the Ohio State situation, Newton is only on the field because Auburn is undefeated and the NCAA didn’t want to screw that up and put TCU in the title game. You know it, I know it, and if actually hate the NCAA, this should be reason enough to cheer against the Tigers tonight.
2) If Auburn wins, we all know that it will be vacated in the future. And let’s be honest, the SEC hasn’t exactly had the greatest history of NCAA probation and vacations. And this would be the icing on that cake. After the Tennessee/Bruce Pearl fiasco, Enes Kanter, Renardo Sidney, and probation at Alabama in the last 5 years, the last thing the SEC needs is a vacated national championship. And while it might take a while, there is no doubt in my mind that some scout reporter will dig up how exactly Newton was paid to play at Auburn. And that will lead to not only the loss of a title, but another SEC football power throw into the probation mud.
Maybe I am off base, but I just don’t see why SEC fans would want to face the ridicule and criticism that will come from an Auburn win tonight. And Cam Newton doesn’t strike me as remorseful about his cheating, or his father’s cheating. If anything, he comes off as cocky and almost oblivious/happy that he got away with it. But that is just my opinion and doesn’t really add to my feelings about the game.
By the way, I am still picking Auburn to win. My prediction: Auburn 38, Oregon 32